Street Elite Festival Takeover

Young people from across the London boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith, Fulham, Southwark and Lambeth joined us at two incredible Street Elite festivals this month.

Street Elite festivals are a day-long showcase of multiple sports such as rugby, football, netball, handball and boxing. Each festival allows young people from local schools to try new sports and gain a rooted sense of confidence.

Because we recruited over 400 young people from across the boroughs, our charity had to host two separate day events to accommodate them. Traditionally we deliver a festival in each of the boroughs we work in, however this year we limited it to two festivals due it being the first series of festivals we’ve hosted post-pandemic.

The Ealing event took place in Southall’s green quarter first. Our Street Elite partners the ‘Berkeley Foundation’ generously provided an open grassy space at one of their new development sites. Having been dedicated partners of the Street Elite programme for over a decade they have been with us on every step of the Street Elite journey and it was wonderful to have them join us to help deliver both festivals.

Deepak Chavda is the Employment Strategy Manager for Berkeley Group. He has supported many young people from the programme into work experience at Berkeley Group using the connection of Berkeley Foundation and its incredible team. Deepak shared: ”The Street Elite programme gets better every year and this is largely down to The Change Foundation coaches being able to prepare the young people for work experience which increases the success rate of work experience participants.”

We were incredibly honoured to have Madame Mayor and MP of Ealing join us at the Ealing event. After taking a tour of the festival, Madame Mayor kindly awarded some of this year’s Street Elite graduates with their certificate; a memory they certainly won’t forget.

Jennifer is one of our female Street Elite graduates. She shared:  “Through the whole programme I have been rewarded for my hard work, it’s sad that the programme is ending for me now but I’m more independent which is really good.”

Incredibly, we saw young people from this year’s Street Elite programme graduate at second event held in Lambeth. After both ceremony’s all of the graduates stayed on to support our Coach Mentors and the Berkeley Foundation with the delivery of the various sports sessions.

Ross Defoe our Community Programmes Manager shared: “Welcoming the graduates back to coach at the Street Elite event exposes young people to new sports whilst also allowing the graduates to give back to the community.”

Being able to socialise and host large sporting events without social distancing guidelines is transforming the work of our charity back to how it was pre-pandemic.

Sally Dickinson is the Head Of Berkeley Foundation. She shared: “After having two years off it’s been brilliant to get back out into the community in the sunshine. Having the graduation of the young people during both festivals was so special and being able to celebrate this milestone together was unforgettable.”

We would like to give a special thank you to Berkeley Foundation, Chelsea Football Club Foundation, Harrow Club, Southall FC, Impact Dance, Limehouse Boxing Club, Harris Tennis Academy for helping to support the festivals and make them a success.

For more information on the Street Elite programme please contact Ross Defoe.

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